Getting Personal with Mikey Ellis

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Motherwell MikeyEllis
Mikey Ellis - as cooperative as a groundsman can be, especially downwind!

Who are you? Mikey Ellis, 43 years old. I've been a groundsman for just over ten years now. Before that, I worked for thirteen years as an HGV/plant mechanic for West Lothian Council, which I left at the end of 2000 to work in Holland at DAF trucks. I returned in 2001 to look after my boys. I then went back to helping out at my local golf club when I could. Enjoyed it so much, I went to college and took my SVQ3 in greenkeeping and sports turf management, whilst juggling it between being a single parent, and with a lot of help from my parents.

Family status? In a relationship with Deborah and have three boys, Dean, Mike and Sean, from a previous relationship.

Who's your hero and why? Henrik Larson, best Celt ever.

What would you change about yourself? A head of hair.

What's your guilty pleasure? Anything sweet.

What do you drop everything for? My pitch.

What's been the highlight of your career so far? It's hard to pick just one - it's between winning the Scottish Groundsman of the Year Division 3 in 2006 at Stenhousemuir FC, becoming Head Groundsman here at Motherwell FC and working for Celtic. I grew up dreaming of playing on Celtic Park so, as that never happened, helping to prepare the pitch for the guys that did make it, is the next best thing, I think.

Glass half full or half empty? Half full.

Climate change - fact or fiction? Fact.

What's your favourite season? Summer; keeps us busy on the pitch.

What are your pet peeves? Ripped up halftime draw tickets blowing about the pitch after a game, it's like confetti.

If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be? Anywhere warm.

What's the best part of your job? Seeing the pitch looking good set up for game.

… and the worst? Rain sodden pitch set up for game.

Do you have a lifetime ambition? No, just to enjoy what I have and see what happens in life.

Who wouldn't you like to be? A matchday steward.

Favourite record, and why? Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, just an amazing tune.

Who would you choose to spend a romantic evening with? My partner Debbie.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Treat us all to a month long relaxing break somewhere warm and quiet.

What's the best advice you have ever been given? Always pee downwind!

What's your favourite smell? Not got a favourite, but I like the smell of freshly ground coffee.

What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with the family, try to play golf, fishing trips and camping overnight.

What's the daftest work related question you have ever been asked? What kind of car do you drive? - from a primary pupil in for a site visit during questions and answers on our work.

What's your favourite piece of kit? Got to be between the Toro ProCore and the Wiedenmann G160.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Reliable, trustworthy and as cooperative as a groundsman can be, lol.

What talent would you like to have? To have made it as a footballer.

What law/legislation would you like to see introduced? Pitch use considered by leagues when making up fixture dates, so you don't have three games in succession, especially during periods of expected poor conditions, like over the mid-winter period when the pitches (and groundstaff) are already under stress.

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